Freshman Orientation: Senator Carrie Buck

As in periods previous, The Nevada Unbiased is publishing a sequence of profiles that includes all the brand new lawmakers within the state. That is the third installment of greater than a dozen. Test again in coming days for extra tales on new legislators’ backgrounds, pursuits and coverage positions.

  • Freshman Republican who succeeds Democratic Sen. Joyce Woodhouse (D-Las Vegas)
  • Represents District 5, which incorporates components of Henderson and the Las Vegas Valley east of Interstate 15
  • District 5 leans barely Democratic (36.9 p.c Democratic, 31.eight p.c Republican and 24.Four p.c nonpartisan within the 2020 election)
  • Buck didn’t have a main opponent within the 2020 election.
  • She gained a slender victory over Democrat Kristee Watson within the 2020 common election, with a 329-vote margin out of greater than 67,000 votes solid.
  • She’s going to sit on the Schooling and Legislative Operations and Elections committees


Buck was born and raised in Sioux Metropolis, Iowa, and earned her undergraduate diploma at Montana State College earlier than transferring to Las Vegas to start her instructing profession within the 1990s.

She additionally achieved a grasp’s diploma in administration and supervision from the College of Phoenix and a doctorate in organizational management from NOVA Southeastern College. She is married and has 4 youngsters.


Buck has a protracted profession in schooling, beginning out instructing English language learners at an elementary faculty in Las Vegas and ultimately rising to change into principal at C.T. Sewell Elementary College. She then transitioned to a constitution faculty community, the Pinecrest Academy, the place she rose to change into lead principal and government director of the community.

She presently serves because the president of the Pinecrest Basis, a registered nonprofit that helps fund constitution faculty academic initiatives together with scholarships for college students. 


Carrie Buck’s love of instructing began along with her sister.

Rising up in an remoted rural group, Buck mentioned that after faculty, she would head residence excited to “play faculty” and train her sister all the things she had discovered from faculty that day (she takes partial credit score for her sister ending up in a gifted and proficient program).

After graduating from faculty, she moved to Las Vegas in 1996 to take a instructing job within the Clark County College District. She began as a trainer for practically three dozen English language learner college students, most of whom spoke Spanish but additionally others who spoke Japanese and Swahili. 

“I keep in mind driving on the I-15 South and seeing the lights for the primary time,” Buck, 49, mentioned. “After which I had somewhat nervousness, as a result of it’s a tradition shock. Transferring from these small little areas to a giant metropolis, you simply do not know what to anticipate, but it surely has been nothing however wonderful.”

Buck continued rising up the ranks within the schooling world till she turned principal of C.T. Sewell Elementary in the midst of the 2005-06 faculty 12 months. On the time, the college was one of many worst-performing elementary colleges within the state, however Buck attracted native and nationwide consideration in her efforts to show the college’s fortunes round and ultimately earn distinction as a Nationwide Title I College.

She left the college in 2014 to change into principal of the Pinecrest Academy constitution faculty in Henderson. She left that place in 2019 to change into president of the affiliated nonprofit Pinecrest Basis, which supplies scholarships and funding for different applications for the constitution faculty community.

“It has been an awesome perspective being in a standard faculty district, after which transferring to a constitution faculty district, and seeing all of the ins and outs of faculty financing, and all of it comes into growing a powerful educational plan that serves youngsters,” she mentioned.

Her curiosity in politics began again when she was nonetheless principal at Sewell, saying she initially contacted former Meeting Republican Chief Paul Anderson about probably working for an Meeting seat. However as a substitute, she opted for a run for a state Senate seat within the 2016 election and misplaced an in depth race to incumbent Joyce Woodhouse (D-Las Vegas) fewer than 1,000 votes.

Buck additionally made headlines in 2017 when she was put ahead as a possible candidate throughout a sequence of recall efforts focusing on Democratic state senators, together with Woodhouse. The recall efforts finally failed, and Buck later privately apologized for her position within the course of.

Buck ran once more for a similar seat in 2020, this time narrowly defeating Democrat and political newcomer Kristee Watson 329 votes out of greater than 67,500 solid within the district (Woodhouse was prevented time period limits for working once more).

Buck is considered one of 4 freshmen within the Senate, and the one Republican elected in a aggressive district. She mentioned she hoped to place her head down and deal with passing her precedence payments, however wasn’t involved if her proposals have been held up or blocked for overtly political causes. 

“I discovered (watching) what occurs to others,” she mentioned. “And so when leaders deal with others poorly or unprofessionally or lock it out as they’ve up to now, that is simply what is predicted,” “So there could also be somewhat nervousness about that however I am a giant lady, I signed up for this, and I am prepared to take no matter…comes my approach. I can deal with it.”

State Senator Carrie Buck on the fourth day of the 81st session of the Legislature in Carson Metropolis on Thursday, Feb. 4, 2021. (David Calvert/The Nevada Unbiased)


COVID vaccines

Buck mentioned she doesn’t plan to instantly get a COVID-19 vaccine, and disclosed that she and her husband, who works for the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Division, each had the sickness in December.

She mentioned her signs have been like a light flu, however acknowledged that it “can hit anybody in another way, so that you simply don’t know.” Whereas she doesn’t have any reservations or issues concerning the vaccine, she mentioned that she would favor to attend till extra individuals in most of the people start to obtain it.

“I’ve a variety of between 65- and 70-year-olds which can be emailing me wanting the vaccine, so till constituents are vaccinated, I believe I can wait,” she mentioned.

Schooling adjustments

Unsurprisingly, lots of the payments that Buck plans to deliver ahead within the 2021 session should do with schooling.

One “easy repair” she’ll be proposing has to do with making the GPA weights for twin enrollment faculty programs taken highschool college students equal to the upper weights given to Superior Placement courses. She’s additionally engaged on a proposal with fellow Republican Sen. Scott Hammond to supply internships for highschool college students and dropouts.

She additionally plans to introduce a invoice that may guarantee lecturers and authorities workers obtain coaching about their publicly funded retirement system and advantages.

And whereas it is probably not a bit of laws, she mentioned she additionally needed to make sure that no payments are handed that have an effect on the carryover {dollars} or reserve accounts budgeted particular person faculty principals — a subject that got here up however was deserted the Clark County College District through the 2020 policy-focused particular session.

“The rationale you get monetary savings as a faculty chief is as a result of if the next 12 months you are requested to make a 15 to 20 p.c lower, which you could hold your workers as a result of it brings consistency for youths,” she mentioned. “And that is what they want. Your workers does not wish to have to fret about transferring colleges and all this upheaval. They work the most effective when there’s belief and that there is a chief that is going to go to bat for them.”


Buck declined to stake a place on the gross sales and gaming tax initiatives backed the Clark County Schooling Affiliation and presently within the Legislature, saying she desires to “see how this performs out.”

Lawmakers have a 40-day clock from the beginning of the legislative session to take up the measures, or else they’ll head to the 2022 poll. Democratic management within the Legislature have mentioned they don’t plan to help the measure.

As for the trio of proposed constitutional amendments elevating taxation charges on mining that handed through the 2020 particular session, Buck mentioned she would help “bringing mining into the dialog” however was leaning in opposition to what Democratic lawmakers had handed final summer time.

“I do not imagine in isolating industries to tax them and turning individuals on one another,” she mentioned. “As a result of then you definately no means know who’s subsequent on the dinner plate.”

ID playing cards for inmates

Buck additionally mentioned she’s engaged on a invoice with Republican Sen. Ira Hansen to repair points with identification playing cards for former inmates. 

State lawmakers in 2017 handed a legislation requiring jail officers to confirm an inmate’s true identify and age with a delivery certificates earlier than issuing any identification playing cards after they’re launched from state custody, however jail officers estimated that difficulties in assembly the upper customary meant practically half of launched inmates didn’t have any type of identification after they depart.

Buck mentioned that left former inmates having to attend weeks to get different types of identification, which makes it more durable for them to return to regular society.

“Inmates which have tousled of their life however served their time and are out, we have to get them into the workforce and get them (to be) productive people as quickly as potential,” she mentioned.

Election integrity

Requested whether or not she believed that huge quantities of voter fraud induced former President Donald Trump to lose Nevada within the 2020 presidential election — one thing the president’s marketing campaign has claimed however that has been denied Republican Secretary of State Barbara Cegavske and in courts across the state — Buck demurred.

“I do not know, I do not know that,” she mentioned. “I imply, I simply do not know. I wasn’t offered with any proof. I did not see for myself any nefarious happenings. So I have not been briefed on that.”

Buck mentioned she thought election officers ought to be certain that loss of life data are carefully in comparison with voter information, and famous that a number of of her Republican colleagues plan to introduce payments associated to election procedures and processes, though she mentioned she didn’t suppose they’d “see the sunshine of day” in a Democrat-controlled Legislature.

She mentioned she was uneasy concerning the shut vote margin and points with ballots within the Clark County Fee race between Ross Miller and Stavros Anthony, however didn’t outright say that fraud had or had not occurred in any races on the 2020 poll.

“That is a extremely robust query as a result of I do not know,” she mentioned. “I do suppose that there have been various things that have been taking place, however I haven’t got proof of something, so I am not going to be one which’s going to be shouting that as a result of I am not an legal professional with proof.”

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